updated 06:15 pm EST, Thu January 31, 2008
AAC, hierarchy patents
The US Patent and Trademark Office today published 11 of Apple's patent applications. Among the 11, a patent regarding AAC audio bit allocation, as well as one pertaining to hierarchical menus stand out. Apple has presented a concept for perceptual audio encoding, a bit allocation technique that is designed to reduce the size of a file by finding a perfect balance of quality versus compression. While Apple is developing the process to apply it to AAC, it could also be applied to MP3, AC-3, and WMA media formats.
Apple also patented a technique for nesting items hierarchically, which can be applied to pop up or drop down menus.